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Navajo Tacos (+Video)

These Navajo Tacos (a.k.a. Fry Bread Tacos) are fluffy fried dough topped with your favorite taco toppings. A fun-to-eat and flavorful dinnertime meal!

A FUN TACO FLAVORED MEAL

Navajo Tacos are basically a fried flatbread. It’s a super simple homemade dough that is fried in oil and puffs up as it cooks. You can it eat by itself or you can top it with all of your taco favorite toppings. You can even fry it then roll it into some cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat! These really are so easy to make and a lot of fun for the whole family. Eat it with your hands or a fork and knife – up to you! If want a quick dinnertime meal, then you have to try this Navajo Taco recipe!

Fry Bread Taco on white plate topped with taco toppings.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is fry bread?

Fry bread is a recipe that started with Native American tribes. More notably, the Navajo tribe (hence why we call these Navajo Tacos). But every tribe seems to have some version of this recipe. For more native Navajo recipes, please be sure to check out one of my favorite Native American Bloggers, The Fancy Navajo. And to explore more about the very diverse history of the Native American culinary cuisine and cuisine, please check out The Sioux Chef.

What kind of oil is best for frying?

Peanut oil is my go-to oil for frying. It’s a neutral flavored oil so it doesn’t change the flavor of what you are frying. However, peanut oil is a more expensive oil. My backup oil of choice is canola oil.

What should I top these Navajo Tacos with?

You can top them with any of your favorite taco toppings. We usually top ours with taco meat, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and cheese.

What is the texture like?

These are really light and fluffy with a slightly crisp outer coating and just a slight chew.

How do I store leftovers?

You can store your toppings separately until ready to serve. The fry bread itself can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature. Fry bread can also be frozen. To do this, wrap each bread in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag. They will keep for up to 4 months. Defrost at room temperature when ready to eat.

a navajo taco shown with toppings on a white plate with a sliced lime and whole tomatoes in the background.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • warm water
  • peanut oil
  • seasoned taco meat
  • refried beans
  • your favorite taco toppings
Ingredients needed: all-purpose flour, baking powder, fine sea salt, warm water, peanut oil, seasoned taco meat, refried beans and your favorite taco toppings.

HOW TO MAKE NAVAJO TACOS:

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 

Dry ingredients mixed together in white bowl.

Pour in the water and mix it together using a fork until a shaggy dough forms. 

Water added to dry mixture formed into dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes until it comes together. You may need to add more flour (up to 1/4 cup) while kneading if the dough is on the wet side – but this is normal. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, heat up the oil. Place the oil into a heavy bottom skillet with deep sides 1-2 inches deep with oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350-375°F. 

Dough on mat kneaded out and resting.

When the dough is done resting, cut it into 6 even sections. 

Dough cut into 6 sections.

Roll out the sections into 6-inch rough circles on a lightly flour surface. 

Piece of dough flattened out.

Fry the dough one at a time in the oil. The dough will immediately puff up. Fry until lightly golden brown and flip it over, brown on the other side as well. About 2-3 minutes per side.

Piece of dough being fried in oil.

Take out the dough, letting any excess oil drip off, and place it on a paper-towel-lined sheet tray while you fry the remaining pieces. I like to form the dough right before adding it to the oil to prevent it from sticking to the work surface.

Finished fry bread on paper towel lined pan.

Once all the dough is cooked, top them with warmed refried beans, taco meat, and your favorite taco toppings!

Taco toppings on top of Fry Bread Tacos on white plate with ingredients in background.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Square image of topped Fry Bread Taco.

Navajo Tacos (+Video)

These Navajo Tacos (a.k.a. Fry Bread Tacos) are made with fluffy fried dough topped with your favorite taco toppings. A fun-to-eat and flavorful dinnertime meal!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the fry bread:

For the toppings:

  • 1 pound seasoned taco meat
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • your favorite taco toppings

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the water and mix it together using a fork until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes until it comes together. You may need to add more flour (up to 1/4 cup) while kneading if the dough is on the wet side – this is normal.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, heat up the oil. Place the oil into a heavy bottom skillet with deep sides 1-2 inches deep with oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350-375°F.
  • When the dough is done resting, cut it into 6 even sections. Roll out the sections into 6-inch rough circles on a lightly flour surface. I like to form the dough right before adding it to the oil to prevent it from sticking to the work surface.
  • Fry the dough one at a time in the oil. The dough will immediately puff up. Fry until lightly golden brown and flip it over, brown on the other side as well. About 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Take out the dough, letting any excess oil drip off, and place it on a paper-towel-lined sheet tray while you fry the remaining pieces.
  • Once all the dough is cooked, top them with warmed refried beans, taco meat, and your favorite taco toppings!

Video

Notes

  • These can be frozen for later use, see the tips above.
  • You can top with any of your favorite taco toppings.
  • Easily double this recipe to make more.
  • For a dessert version: dip the fried bread into cinnamon sugar immediately after removing from the oil. 
  • Try this with my recipe for Crock Pot Taco Meat!
  • You can substitute the peanut oil with another frying oil. I like peanut oil because it is a neutral flavored oil. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 673mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi! Being a native Okie, I know the history of this recipe. While “fry bread” is what is used, the term is Navajo Tacos. The recipe was created during the harsh times when the Natives were forced off their lands, and this was a staple food as they traveled. Just a bit of history.

    1. I hesitate to call it “Navajo Tacos” because I’ve been told by a few Native Americans that fry bread was used by many different native tribes and that they just called it “fried bread” in their native languages and they never made it into tacos back in those days. The taco part is a more recent addition. So I honor a Native American when they explain to me how their culture has used this recipe. Obviously times change and so do recipes but this fried bread has been in native culture for a very long time. Way before the Americanized version of tacos.

  2. 5 stars
    Oh, my these are sooooooooooo good.
    I had my Indian Taco (that is what they called them in OK.) years ago when we lived in Oklahoma City and had my 1st one at the State Fair and have been making them ever sense, always around state fair time, but actually they are good anytime.
    There was just 1 draw back eating that 1st Indian Taco @ the fair, and that was trying to eat it with a plastic fork. It just didn’t work, so from then on, whenever we went to the fair I always made sure I packed a couple of forks from home.
    During the fair, the recipe was published in the local newspaper and have been using that same recipe now for years.
    Seeing and talking about Indian Taco’s is really making me craving for one right Now. Going on my menu list for the upcoming week.
    Enjoy your week and stay safe.
    ‘Today Is A Good Day To Have A Good Day.’